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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recommended the Central Government for the compulsory retirement of 'very corrupt and high-flying' IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak.

"It is for the first time that an All India Services Officer has been recommended by the Odisha Government for compulsory retirement on grounds of corruption," stated CM Naveen in his letter to the Centre on Thursday.

Pathak, who served as the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Plan, Program and Afforestation, before his arrest along with his son Akash Pathak on November 27, is presently lodged in Judicial custody. He has been facing charges of acquisition of ill-gotten wealth amounting to more than 20 crore, till the last count.

"Pathak was making cash deposits of his ill-gotten wealth in his son Akash Pathak's bank accounts and further helping his son in fraudulently posing as MD of Tata Motors," stated the CM in his recommendation letter to the Centre.

"His son has also been arrested by the Crime Branch in case of forgery, cheating and duping unemployed youth by taking huge cash from them by falsely promising them jobs in Tata Motors. In this case, the FIR was lodged by Tata Motors," added Naveen.

Pathak was himself using high-brand expensive cars like Mercedes, BMW from the ill-gotten wealth. During the lockdown period, he and his son were flying across India in chartered planes and staying in luxurious hotels. Both father and son were using private security guards/bouncers to show off their ill gotten wealth, said the CM to the Centre.

The Odisha Vigilance had conducted simultaneous raids in Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Pune and at one place in Bihar on November 25 and 26 on the strength of search warrants issued by the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance in Bhubaneswar.

From the preliminary investigation, the Vigilance sleuths had found that the 1987 batch IFS officer was in possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 9.35 crore which was about 435% of the total income from all his known sources.

On December 4, Pathak had moved the Orissa High Court after a Vigilance Court rejected his bail petition on November 27.

A case under several sections of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, has been registered against both Pathak and his son, Akash.


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